Here is an application of Solutions Focussed Coaching for teams, developed by Daniel Meier. The approach has been elaborated and adapted by various authors to create a range and interesting and effective team workshop exercises. I have used this in various forms with teams and have found it to be really powerful.
The big idea in SolutionCircle is “Change happens more sustainably, more dynamically and more effectively when it rests on strengths”. In the sessions problems are acknowledged but not analysed in detail. The focus is on solutions.
SolutionCircle also builds on the assumption every human being and every organisation have a far bigger potential than we may be conscious of. Therefore a team is not a problem to be analysed and solved but a potential to be unfolded.
There are four principles worth considering:
- Focus on solutions: Use the available energy and time solely to explore solutions.
- Build on success: Find what has worked and develop on this.
- Illuminate resources: The skill necessary to master a turbulent situation are present in the room.
- Find new perspectives: Focus the awareness of the team on the topic in order to see it differently.
The process can be shown as follows:
I drew the little men in PowerPoint. Daniel Meier and David Rock both use a surfing metaphor. Watch this space for some great surfing analogies.
You will notice the steps are not numbered and there is no arrow showing direction. You really can mix and match the steps to your requirements. The steps are:
- Preparing the ground: This involves meeting with leaders before the session to get a sense of what they want from the session. Preparation is also required at the start of the session. The session leader clarifies what brought the team to this meeting, highlights the resources in the room and clarifies the roles. The leader also describes the principles, specifically the focus on solutions and agrees the behaviours for the session.
- Expectations and goals: Here the leader will agree the criteria for the success of the meeting.
- Hot topics: Here the team list the topics to be covered to bring improvement.
- Highlights: Here the team look back, for each hot topic, at situations where the problem could have happened but didn’t, or was less severe. The skills they brought to bear will also come up in this discussion.
- Future Perfect: The team designs a rich picture of the future in which the problems have been solved.
- Scaling dance: The teams step out where they are in the current situation on a scale of 1 to 10, where 10 is described by the Future Perfect picture. They then discuss what they are doing right to get to the agreed number.
- Steps: The team agree actions to get them closer to the Future Perfect.
- Personal Mission: Members agree an observation or action oriented task to direct attention to the daily execution towards Future Perfect.